Assignment: Ukiah- My next birthday gift giveaway party


I groan, you groan, we all groan when another birthday comes around, especially if there’s a party involved and especially if people bring gifts.

What could be worse and more depressing than a big pile of gaily wrapped packages that you already know are filled with stuff you don’t want?

Oh my!  How thoughtful of you.  Tomorrow I can build shelves to put everything on, unless tomorrow is garbage pick-up day which will also take care of all my new stuff.

I have some birthday party ideas and the first one is to not have a party or even tell anyone you have a birthday coming this month.  Or this year.  Failing that, insist your birthday will be an anti-gift event, and that following the candles and cake and the rest of the festivities, guests will be obligated to remove something from the birthday celebrant’s home.

That’s the deal.  You can’t leave the party unless you take something with you.  Gift wrapping is optional, but you must take a gift out the door.  Anti-gift suggestions for my next birthday would include taking any of the half dozens musty sport coats from the upstairs closet, everything under any bed in the house, and either of the two jars of (unopened) homemade apricot marmalade that we received as Christmas presents in the 1990s.  They’re in the refrigerator.  Take the soy sauce while you’re poking around. I’ll also strongly recommend people haul away bags of books when they depart my jolly party plus any uneaten cake, and if we have a cat at that point you can have it too.  I’ve collected hundreds of small bars of soap and tiny bottles of shampoo over many years at many motels, and a true friend will take all of them.

Everything must go!  Bring a wagon or a coat with big pockets.  Empty out the junk drawer in the kitchen and everything from the medicine cabinets.  Bonus points if you take stuff from the garage, and I don’t care if you leave it all in the street as long as it’s not right in front of my house.
You’ll be doing me a big favor, plus you’ll have something to give a friend at his next birthday party.  Who wouldn’t love a few dozen tiny bars of soap or some marmalade at their next birthday party?  Or a gift-wrapped cat?

Tattoos: A wise investment

Old people are forever grumping about youngsters and their tattoos but I’ve given the subject some thought and now believe acquiring a tattoo to be a sound financial decision.

First, it’s a one-time expense that lasts a lifetime.  Second, as with any wise investment, it’s likely to grow. Next time you see a slender lass with, say, a colorful six-by-six tattoo of birdies and butterflies on her lower back, consider how much tattoo she’s likely to have by the time she’s 40 or 50 years old.  It’ll be three times larger, and all for the same low investment cost.  That butterfly will be the size of a pterodactyl.

See if your money manager can match that kind of growth!

Misguided Movie Madness

Has Ukiah thought through its policy of showing free movies Friday nights during the summer months?  I’m sure our well-paid city administrators decided Hey why not!?!  People love free stuff and so we’ll provide a great service for the whole town!   But again, has the city really thought it through?

I don’t think undercutting the Ukiah Movie Theater, which is trying to keep a valuable city asset running during what can only be described as difficult economic times, is an intelligent long-range decision.  I don’t think any private business should have to face a rival government agency siphoning off customers.

A family that (maybe) can afford to go to the movies once a month might elect to spend that movie night out under the stars watching something for nothing, plus free popcorn.  Does this serve Ukiah’s longterm interests?  Have city officials contemplated the logical consequence of giving things away simply because it can?

Using taxpayer subsidies to underwrite programs and services that the private sector provides is a risky route to travel, although for shortsighted officials it may be a tempting one.  Using the Movie Madness model as a blueprint, should Ukiah begin sponsoring weekly Grand Gourmet Feasts prepared by famous visiting French chefs?  Extravagant free meals could be provided Saturday nights, dessert included, with valet parking thrown in.  Bring the whole family.

Hey, why not!?!  People love free stuff and so we’ll provide a great free service for the whole town! 

If the Ukiah Theater goes out of business and the building is abandoned how does that mesh with our already empty and abandoned Palace Hotel?  How does it fit in with the abandoned downtown Post Office?  How about the County Courthouse that city officials say they hope will soon be emptied out so a new courthouse can be built a few blocks away?

Are the town’s economic interests best served by bankrupting a private business  and putting people out of work?

The City of Ukiah should focus on doing a great job on the few things citizens actually demand and pay taxes for,  and not venture off into silly giveaway programs it has no reason to provide.
Tom Hine lives and works in Ukiah and goes to the Ukiah Theater a few times a year.  Over his last dozen visits there probably haven’t been 300 people in attendance all put together.  TWK approves this message.

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